Newtown, CT — June 7, 2019 — Gun violence is preventable when we “know the signs” and on this #WearOrange Weekend during Gun Violence Awareness month, Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) encourages everyone to be an “upstander” in stopping gun violence in schools and communities.
Four out of five school shooters and 70 percent of people who complete suicide told someone of their plans or gave some type of warning that was overlooked or ignored. SHP teaches youth and adults how to spot the signs of someone in crisis and intervene before that person harms themselves or others. With students being the eyes and ears of their school community, they often see and hear things that adults might miss, especially on social media. It is imperative that we train youth to be “upstanders,” so they know the signs of potential violence and/or self-harm and tell a trusted adult before violence occurs.
Below are a few warning signs and signals that someone in crisis might exhibit. It is important to remember that one sign on its own doesn’t mean a person is planning an act of violence, but when many connected or cumulative signs are observed over a period of time, it could mean that the person is heading down a pathway towards violence or self-harm.
- Excessive study of firearms and mass shootings
- Low commitment or aspirations toward school, or a sudden change in academic performance
- Chronic social isolation or a sudden increase in withdrawing from other people and activities
- Unsupervised, illegal, and/or easy access to firearms, or bragging about access to firearms
- Making overt threats of violence (spoken, written, pictures, videos, gestures)
- Being overly aggressive and/or lacking self-control
No one is immune to gun violence, as proven by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators. The Know the Signs prevention programs since developed and implemented by SHP are proving effective in making schools and communities safer.
To date, SHP has trained over 7.5 million youth and adults in 14,000+ schools and youth organizations in all 50 states. These programs have averted multiple school shootings, suicides, and gun threats; reduced bullying and cyberbullying; intervened on cutting, substance use, hate crimes, and other forms of violence and self-harm; and helped hundreds of youth get the mental health assistance they need.
About Sandy Hook Promise:
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they can happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions, and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org.
Dini von Mueffling Communications | Stephanie Morris
[email protected] | 646-650-5005